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Kenya’s youth team in final push for
shot at Africa Under-17 Nations Cup

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s under-17 national team coach Michael Amenga is certain his side will improve on their fourth place finish in the last regional competition to secure an automatic berth at the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Tanzania next year.

Kenya have been pooled in Group B alongside Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Djibouti in the CECAFA region qualifying tournament which will run from August 11th to 26th in Dar es Salaam. Group A comprises hosts Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Sudan.

“We came fourth at the CECAFA Under-17 Championships in Burundi in April and are looking at building on that experience ahead of the Dar es Salaam trip. I’m confident that with adequate preparations, we will get positive results,” said coach Amenga in Nairobi on Monday.

The team of 26 players is pitching camp in Nairobi for their final preparations before heading down to Tanzania.

The regional qualification tournament is set to determine which team takes part in the 2019 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations finals in May 2019 alongside Tanzania, who qualify automatically by virtue of being hosts.

The overall winner of the CECAFA region tournament will receive the automatic spot, while the runners-up could also make in the event that Tanzania emerge victorious.

The team, which kicked off preparations for the tournament on July 26, played out a 1-1 draw with the Gor Mahia Under-20 team in the first of a number of friendly warm-up matches.

“We have lined up a number of friendly matches to keep the players physically and mentally in shape for the tournament,” said Amenga.

Angola have already been crowned winners of the COSAFA Under-17 Championship with a 1-0 victory over South Africa, and will represent the region in the Africa Under-17 Championships in Tanzania.

They will hope to use that opportunity to qualify for the 2019 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Peru in what will be their fourth appearance at the continental showpiece event. 



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